Morning headlines: Thursday 7th March 2019

News Now Finland morning news headlines and weather first, every weekday at 09:00

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New poll shows far right rise, SDP consolidations

A new poll from state-funded broadcaster Yle shows a rise in support for the far right Finns Party, posting the biggest gain of any political party up 1.3%. Two other centre right parties The National Coalition Party and Centre Party are down 1.1% and 1.5% respectively. “[National Coalition Party] is now losing voters to the True Finns, because why vote for the light version?” writes Left Alliance leader Li Andersson – her party saw gains of 0.3%. The Swedish People’s Party also saw a 0.7% increase. Meanwhile on top form, the Social Democrats were up 1.2% to further consolidate their lead as the most popular political party with just five weeks to go until the general election.

Decision day for nuclear reactor license

The government is set to decide today on whether the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant will get a license. Electricity production at the much-delayed reactor is supposed to start in January next year, more than 10 years later than originally planned. Last month, the Nuclear Safety Authority said it saw no objections to granting a license to begin operations, but a decision still needs to be taken about whether to grant a license, which would run for a fixed term until the end of 2039. The assumption is that the new reactor would keep generating electricity for about 60 years.

Deadline for EU nationals to register to vote

Today is the last day that EU nationals living in Finland can register their eligibility to vote in the upcoming European Parliament elections. At the end of March, forms were sent to all EU nationals registered in Finland to let them know about their voting rights, but today at 16:00 is the cut-off point for those completed forms to be turned into local Maitraatti offices. The situation is more complicated for UK nationals, with Brexit currently supposed to happen before the European Parliament elections take place – read more about that particular issue in our story here.

ICYMI: Protesters scale parliament building

Police arrested eight people on Wednesday, after several hundred climate change protesters gathered at parliament, and some of them used climbing gear to scale the columns on the outside of the building. Green Alliance MP Touko Aalto says we need to be speaking with a louder voice about the urgent need to tackle climate change, but also said that protesters shouldn’t climb on the actual parliament building. The senior police officer at the scene said that climbing on a public building was a crime. Watch our video and interviews at the protest here.

Thursday morning weather

It’s a split start to the day when it comes to the weather. Across Lapland you’ll find the brightest sunshine, but also the coldest temperatures: ranging from -14C to -18C. There’s also some snow in the forecast across the north. The further south you move, the more cloud there is and the warmer the temperatures. There’s snow and -6C forecast for Jyväskylä and Central Finland; snow too for Lappeenranta and the south east; sunshine in the capital city region; and sleet or wet snow in Turku and the south west where temperatures hover just around or above freezing this morning.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Thursday morning 7th March 2019 / Credit: FMI